One of my favorite memories from grade school was in fourth grade when we took a field trip to flower field. Our teacher prepared us for weeks by telling us what we would need and the rules we had to follow. For all of you who do not know, flower field is a place that shows children what it was like to live in the Midwest before electricity and technology were invented. We could not wear pants, we had to bring a bag lunch of all imperishable items, and we wrote with quills and ink. Even before the trip, I was taught responsibility by being in charge of bringing what I needed to school. I learned from this trip that I am an interactive learner. I was to be able to do or touch the thing I am learning about. Before this, I was not excited about learning how to spell or what the history of the Midwest was. After the spelling bee that was held in the one-room school house at flower field, I was excited to learn how to spell. After seeing a sod house and watching someone churn butter, I was interested in how people lived before technology. The photo below was taken by my mother at flower field. I am pictured by a dear friend, Kristen, sitting on the benches in the one-room school house with a quill in my hand.
Another key learning experience for me was in the eighth grade when I traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska with several other students to compete in the science bowl. We all had buzzers that we rang in if we knew the answer to the science questions they were asking us. We competed against about thirty other schools. What I learned from this was that I wanted to know things. In the months before the science bowl, the team crammed in as much information as we could. I learned from this that I was excited to learn new things. I went into each competition hoping I would know, or would learn, the answer to each question. I was disappointed when I did not know the answer. I also learned that I wanted to share my knowledge with others (or perhaps I liked it when people called me smart). The team would have these group meeting in lapses between competitions where we would share the things we learned with each other. I found myself eager to tell my team the things I had learned. The photo below was taken by the bus-driver who accompanied us on our trip. It is of my science bowl team and our teacher, Mrs. Norman. We all received paper copies of the photo and I took a picture of the paper photo.
The next key learning experience came to me my sophomore year. I had always read since I was a child, but I would have rather watched T.V. or played outside. My sophomore year of high school was when I discovered my love for reading. I read the Harry Potter books in their entirety this year of my high school career. I learned the miracle that words are, that simple scrawlings on a piece of paper can reveal someone’s innermost secrets or create a world out of thin air. I learned that knowledge comes from reading, as often as you can. I learned that I cannot simply read fantasies that peak my interest, but biographies that expand my mind. I learned that the best writers come from readers. The photo below is a selfie with one of my favorite books.
My next learning experience came from learning what my goals in life were. My junior year of high school, I found myself in a deep depression. I had lost a group of friends that was dear to me due to some trivial popularity contest. I had no friends at school anymore. I focused more on my homework, and read more and more. I came to find that I did not need to be the most popular girl in school. I found out that what was important about school was learning. I focused on myself and furthering myself rather that what others thought of me. I focused on graduation and getting good grades instead of what my hair looked like and who “liked” me. The photo below was taken by my mother and shows me accomplishing my goal of graduating high school. I found friends along the way that were true to me, as you can see by the picture.
College was a brand new experience for me. I had not had to study too hard in high school. I did not struggle with many classes at all in high school. College was a whole new level of hard work for me. I had a class my first semester called History of American Literature. We were assigned at least fifty pages to read a night. I almost fainted. I cried my eyes out day after day due to stress. I bombed my first test. I bombed my first writing assignment. I cried some more. I have learned though. I have learned to do the reading that is assigned. I have learned to take notes of what the professor is saying (this one was really important to learn). I have learned that I need to study and study some more before tests. I have learned that I am capable of making grammatical errors, meaning I DO need to have someone proofread my paper. I learned I need to write my assignments in my planner (Come on, Marqui, you cannot remember everything!) College has taken a lot of getting used to, and I am still learning new study techniques and new ideas everyday. The photo below was taken by me of my History of American Literature book.